28 October 2016

Bryce Morrison reviews TRACES. International Piano November 2016

Ernest Newman memorably described Granados’ Goyescas as giving one  ‘the voluptuous sense of passing the fiangers through masses of richly coloured jewels… They are piano music of the purest kind.’ Inspired by the 18th-century artist Goya, they celebrate the loves and deaths of the majos and majas (flamboyantly dressed plebeian gallants and their belles).  For Granados the majos ‘pink and white cheeks against lace and black Velvet, those tight-waisted bodies, hands of jasmine and mother-of-pearl resting on jet trinkets  all of these things dazzled and possessed me? The Goyescczs’ ‘great flights of imagination and difliculty’ (Granados again) have also dazzled and possessed pianists sufficiently intrepid and exploratory to master music which makes a virtue of luxuriance rather than economy, of a seemingly limitless improvisatory blossoming. I do not mean to sound churlish, but Alicia de Laryocha’s unforgettable performances, whether live or in the studio, have hung like an albatross around the necks of all other pianists (Arrau, no less, confessed that the gave up on Spanish music after hearing her). Has anyone matched that razor—sharp articulation, that maintenance of a ‘singing’ line While relishing a kaleidoscope of colour together with every harmonic and rhythmic piquancy?
Nonetheless, there are other Voices to consider, and Joop Celis, turning from his superb York Bowen series on Chandos, plays with a caressing ease and naturalness in music requiring a special warmth and flexibility. The fluid give and take of his rubato — his musical breathing — is beguiling and he is more than equal to every demand, clarifying and refining every complex texture. He is even more engaging in the relatively gentle musings of the Escerzas poeticas, with their amusing prophecy of ‘love is a many splendored thing’ and with Margarita’s hesitant and unresolved song. The Intermezzo from the Goyescas as an opera is a more than enterprising addition, and Celis’s Elpelele brings everything to a gloriously ebullient close.
Javier Negrin takes a radically different view of Granados and you could hardly accuse him of understatement as he underlines the Goyescas’ agony and ecstasy. At times overbearing, he revels in fierectly ignited passions, playing as if his life depends on every note (try the Appassionata before the concluding Allegretto from ‘Coloquio en la reja’ where he sets the keyboard ablaze). In the ‘Epilogue’ he is again vivid and intense, while for his encore he gives us Mompou’s Variations sur un theme de Chopin, where the A major Prelude’s brevity expands into a series of deeply affectionate memories. Mazurkas and Etudes surface through the haze of Mompou’s magic, while Variation No 8 is a reminder of Poulenc’s tendresse.
Both these issues are of absorbing interest, but for true stature in the Goyescas Alicia de Larrocha reigns supreme, whether on her EMI Classics reissue or her later Decca recording.
International Piano Bryce Morrison
November 2016
01 – Scriabin Sonata No 5 Op 53 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
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  1. 01 – Scriabin Sonata No 5 Op 53 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  2. 02 – Scriabin Danses Op 73 Guirlandes // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  3. 03 – Scriabin Danses Op 73 Flammes sombres // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  4. 04 – Scriabin Poeme-Nocturne Op 61 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  5. 05 – Scriabin Sonata No 6 Op 62 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  6. 06 – Scriabin From 2 Morceaux Op 59 1. Poeme // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  7. 07 – Scriabin From 2 Morceaux Op 59 2. Prelude // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  8. 08 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 63 1. Masque // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  9. 09 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 63 2. Etrangete // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  10. 10 – Scriabin Sonata No 7 (White Mass) Op 64 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  11. 11 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 71 1 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  12. 12 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 71 2 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  13. 13 – Scriabin 5 Preludes Op 74 (1914) 1 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  14. 14 – Scriabin 5 Preludes Op 74 (1914) 2 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  15. 15 – Scriabin 5 Preludes Op 74 (1914) 3 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  16. 16 – Scriabin 5 Preludes Op 74 (1914) 4 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  17. 17 – Scriabin 5 Preludes Op 74 (1914) 5 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  18. 18 – Scriabin Vers la flamme Poeme Op 72 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  19. 19 – Scriabin Morceaux Op 57 1. Desir // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  20. 20 – Scriabin Morceaux Op 57 2. Caresse dansee // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  21. 21 – Scriabin Two Preludes Op 67 No 1 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  22. 22 – Scriabin Two Preludes Op 67 No 2 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  23. 23 – Scriabin Sonata No 9 (Black Mass) Op 68 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  24. 24 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 69 No 1 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  25. 25 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 69 No 2 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  26. 26 – Scriabin Sonata No 10 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  27. 27 – Scriabin Prelude Op 56 No 1 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  28. 28 – Scriabin From 4 Pieces Op 56 2. Ironies // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  29. 29 – Scriabin From 4 Pieces Op 56 3. Nuances // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  30. 30 – Scriabin Etude Op 56 No 4 (1908) // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  31. 31 – Scriabin Feuillet d album Op 58 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  32. 32 – Scriabin Sonata No 8 Op 66 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  33. 33 – Scriabin Three Etudes Op 65 No 1 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  34. 34 – Scriabin Three Etudes Op 65 No 1 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
  35. 35 – Scriabin Three Etudes Op 65 No 3 // James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC